Andrew Toy I am the Lion, Bipolar, Book Review, Books, Community, Death, Early Review, Family, Religion

I Am the Lion @ Andrew Toy


I Am The Lion

by Andrew Toy

4 stars

First I have to say thank you to author Andrew Toy for giving me an early copy of I am the Lion. I received this book in exchange for a honest review.

I am the Lion is the story of Lydia and her struggles to cope with the death of her mother at a tender young age as well as deal with her father (Henry) mental disorder. Henry has bipolar and since the death of his wife it seems to have exacerbated, which in turns frightens Lydia. Forcing herself deeper and deeper within her shell of muteness. Lydia doesn’t talk. She thinks of herself as the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz. Or better yet the lion that she drags around with her everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.

This particular lion is the last memory and physical possession she has that her late mother Elizabeth gave her. It seems like she can only speak her secrets or open up slightly when she is having conversations with this lion. It’s not like she can talk to her father about the things that are bothering her. For one her mother’s death is at the top of the list but sadly her father forbids her from mentioning her name or anything that reminds him of her. So Lydia must learn to suppress her emotions which in turns makes her suppress her speaking abilities. This turns out for a recipe for disaster because Henry gets frustrated with his daughter for not speaking. And yelling at her or being overly stern doesn’t help the situation.

As you read and get deeper into the story you can see that both Lydia and her father want things to be normal. To be like it was before her mother, his wife died. It’s just that they don’t know how. There is so much heartache, anger and sadness that neither one of them knows how to help one or the other.

Thank goodness for Norman (Lydia 4th grade teacher) and his lovely wife as well as Rachel the church counselor that gets the ball rolling. Together they form a community around Lydia and her father to help them deal with the grieving and death of  a beloved mother and wife. Sometimes it takes other people to point you in the right direction. To help you heal and become that happy family you once were. Yes there will be anger and frustration throughout the process (Henry being hesitant throughout the whole thing) but you have to think about what is the best thing that you can do for your family.

Andrew Toy does an amazing job of weaving a story of death, despair, friendship, community and the power of religion (without be too preachy and in your face about it). I am the Lion is a heart-warming, heart-wrenching roller coaster ride that will have you smiling, crying and sighing in frustration but it’s all worth it. Such a rare treat to read. Perfect Holiday read and socking stuffer. Comes out November 11,2014.

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andrew toy

Andrew Toy is a husband and soon to be father as well as the author of Man in the Box and I am the Lion. If you would like to know about him please visit his blog Adopting James. Join him on his journey through the adoption process of his daughter. Also you can follow him on twitter @atoy1208

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